The slow-moving space poem that is Ad Astra is more heart of darknessy than the sci-fi action promised in the trailers. The near-future film is big on introspection and beautiful shots of the vast expanse of space and the planets of our solar system. It’s light on logic, unfortunately, and suffers under a tedious and maudlin voice-over that makes even the most beautiful scenes feel exhausting. I left the theater wanting to watch The Martian or Gravity because it piqued my interest in a space travel story without actually delivering a good one.
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Writer-director Quentin Tarantino’s 9th film is a paean to the golden age of Hollywood, complete with grizzled actors, mysterious stuntmen, earnest starlets and an underlying sense of chill that permeated the hippie era. There’s a lot to like in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, with Tarantino’s knack for detail and ability to get unexpected performances out of great actors. There are a few aspects that keep it from being peak Quentin for me, but it’s still one of the highlights of the summer.